Fish Tank

Fish Tank

United Kingdom, 2009, 124 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Family Issues, Foreign, Music, Romance, Substance Abuse, Teen Flick
Language: English

MUST END March 11
35mm Presentation - Though it’s only her sophomore outing, Fish Tank solidifies director Andrea Arnold’s quick-won reputation as a master of social realism. Set outside London in a bleak Essex housing project, this gritty drama zooms in on the dreary lives of 15-year-old Mia, her younger sister Tyler, and their single mother, who live together in an emotional war zone of abuse, alcohol, and desperation. Foul-mouthed and moody, Mia (played fiercely by newcomer Katie Jarvis) finds her only outlet from the rage she feels toward her lot in frenetic dancing to wild music – and in her relation to animals, such as the chained horse she attempts to liberate.
When her mother brings home a new man, Mia is at first suspicious, but soon warms to the sexy and charismatic Connor (Michael Fassbender). A security guard, Connor spends his money on the family, takes them on outings, and treats Mia with tenderness. Conflicted, she finds herself yearning for a lover as much as a father figure. In turn, Connor pays more than passing attention to Mia and the two begin their own dance of seduction, one that could lead to disastrous consequences – especially when Connor’s mysterious past comes to light.
Cinematographer Robbie Ryan’s handheld camerawork reveals the claustrophobia of Mia’s world in tightly framed shots, and the contrasts he captures between her family’s ramshackle urban living conditions and the lush countryside Connor shows them provide a multilayered perspective. Winner of a Jury Prize (and nominated for the Golden Palm) at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Fish Tank follows Arnold’s equally impressive Red Road, which received the same honors at Cannes in 2006. Her live-action short Wasp won an Academy Award in 2003.

DIRECTOR: Andrea Arnold
Producer: Kees Kasander
Editor: Nicolas Chaudeurge
Screenwriter: Andrea Arnold
Cinematographer: Robbie Ryan
Principal Cast: Katie Jarvis, Kierston Wareing, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Giffiths, Harry Treadaway
US Distributor: IFC Films

Official Film Website

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